There are many books available on Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhism in general. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the selection and know where to begin. As a Buddhist practitioner you are about to wage war against your inner adversaries. These books will equip the brave soldier to win that war.
Through a propaganda war, it is easy to be deceived by our clever adversary and identiy with them. The soldier may identify with their anger and think “I am an angry person” and not think that the enemy is upon them.
Be brave spiritual soldier!!
1. Lamrim Commentary
A commentary on the lamrim will describe the theatre of war, the terrain, and identifies your inner enemies. Know your enemies, the self-cherishing mind and self-grasping. Also know your closest allies and essential strategies against them, the mind of bodhicitta and the wisdom of emptiness.
‘Practicing the Path’ by Yangsi Rinpoche
‘Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand’ by Pabongka Rinpoche
2. Meditation Guide
A field guide for close-proximity combat with negative views and emotions. Includes sections on the use of hand weapons.
‘How to Meditate’ by Kathleen McDonald
‘Spiritual Friends’ by Thubten Dondrub
3. (a) Bodhicaryavatara Text
When you are promoted to the rank of ‘bodhisattva commando’ the ‘Bodhicaryavatara’ is an important tactical playbook. The ‘Bodhicaryavatara’ by Shantideva is for ‘bodhisattva commandos’ deployed in the field. This is the Tibetan Buddhist equivalent of ‘The Dammapada’.
‘Guide to Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’ translated by Stephen Batchelor
‘A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life’ translated by Alan Wallace
‘The Way of the Bodhisattva’ translated by Padmakara Translation Group
3. (b) Bodhicaryavatara Commentary
These commentaries on the ‘Bodhicaryavatara’ by Shantideva are useful but too bulky to carry into the field.
‘For the Benefit of All Beings’ by Dalai Lama
‘The Way of Awakening: A Commentary on Shantideva’s Bodhicaryavatara’ by Geshe Yeshe Tobden
4. Mind Training Commentary
Of the mind training texts, the ‘7 Point Mind Training’ text reviews the lamrim in a condensed format but is only for the eyes of those already promoted to the rank of ‘bodhisattva commando’:
‘Mind Training Like the Rays of the Sun’ by Nam-Kha Pel and translated by Jeremy Russell
‘Training the Mind in the Great Way’ by Gyalwa Gendum Druppa and translated by Glenn H. Mullin
5. Death & Dying Discussion
If you are unable to win this battle then the war is not yet over for you yet, soldier. You will go on to fight another day and eventually win this war. These books describe your tactical withdrawal from the battle field and your next strategic deployment.
‘Advice on Dying: And Living Well by Taming the Mind’ by Dalai Lama XIV
‘Dying with Confidence: A Tibetan Buddhist Guide to Preparing for Death’ by Anyen Rinpoche
‘Death, Intermediate State and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism’ by Rimpoche Lati